Introduction to Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising

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PPC stands for Pay Per Click - a popular ands proven advertising technique on the Internet. PPC advertising involves sponsored links that are typically in the form of text ads and are usually placed close to search results. The advertiser pays a particular amount to the search engines for each visitor that clicks on these links or banners and lands on the advertiser's web page.

In essence, PPC advertising is all about bidding for the top or leading position on search engine results and listings. Advertisers do this by buying or bidding on keyword phrases that are relevant to their products or services - the higher the bid, the higher the spot on the search results and the more the people will find and click on the ad. Advertisers then pay the bid price every time a visitor clicks through the website.

PPC advertising is usually setup in the following way:
  1. Set up an account and/or deposit funds.
  2. Create a keyword list.
  3. Bid on the ad placement, including the search result words or phrases.
  4. Write out an ad copy.
  5. Set up the 'landing pages' for your ads.
  6. Place the advertisement in the search engine.
  7. Once setup, test and track on an ongoing basis.
There are many benefits to Pay Per Click advertising, making it an effective way of promoting an online business:
  • Immediate launch - PPC advertisements are implemented very quickly - they can be online within an hour of setting up your ads.
  • PPC provides you with quality and well-targeted traffic. Visitors are people who are actually looking for specific products and/or services that you offer - those who are more likely to become a lead and complete a transaction, either by buying your product or subscribing to the service that you are offering.
  • PPC advertising provides additional traffic to your site, aside from the natural or "organic" search engines.
  • PPC advertising allows you to track exactly who comes to the website and what they do once they arrive - the length of their stay on the site and the number of pages (including the actual pages) that they view. These are valuable tools in determining statistics such as return on investment (ROI), acquisition cost-per-visitor, and conversion rates (the percentage of visitors who are converted into customers or leads).
Finally, when planning on a pay per click campaign, consider the following:

  1. Know your product. Take an inventory of the product and/or services that you have to offer (before anything else).
  2. Stay within budget. Determine your daily or monthly budget and stick to it. Don't enter into bidding wars.
  3. Know how to bid right - a bid that is too high can exhaust all of your money, whilst a bid that is too low can lose you traffic.
  4. Measure your increase in profit against your PPC expenditure. Know when to stop your PPC program i.e. if you spend more on advertising but have little or no sales at all.
  5. Decide which keyword phrases to opt and bid for. Do some keyword research, either by actually looking at existing search terms or with the use of online keyword suggestion tools e.g. wordtracker, overture, nichebot etc..., to know which terms are mostly used when searching for items that are related to your business. Focus on specific keywords, not on general ones.
  6. Write effective ads. A good PPC ad can persuade and move a searcher. There are several approaches to this:
  • Discount offers
  • Testimonials
  • Celebrity/famous endorsers
  • Money-back guarantees
  • Free trials or sample offers
  • Freebies
  • Reverse psychology
  • Major benefits ("Lose weight")
  • Direct instructions ("Click here")
Finally, make sure you maintain a professional-looking site with regularly updated content, and no spelling and grammatical errors or broken links or images. The website should easy for visitors to navigate and quick to load. Include contact details to create a good impression among potential customers.
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